Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tasogare Otome x Amnesia

Tasogare Otome x Amnesia got my attention immediately on the list of Spring 2012 anime, as the picture provided on TV Tropes' list prominently featured the series female lead, Yuuko. The description told of a ghost-themed anime, and the picture helped propagate the image. I expected a very dramatic anime, which is partially what i got.
There are a lot of derp faces in this series.

The result was actually more of a dramady, with plenty of gags flying in every direction. despite the lack of devotion to a single genre, the blending works rather well, though there are moments when i feel that a more serious touch might have worked better, such as the moments of undue fanservice. when the time comes, though, the series delivers, with plenty of twists, turns, and emotional punches being thrown. the storyline is pressing, keeping your focus as it tells the sad tale. all events blend together in the end, too, meaning that episodes that might feel like filler end up tying in with the main story nicely.
The delightful moments of silly rarely detract from the overall tone of the series.
Falling in line with the dramatic theme of the series is its artwork and soundtrack. the music is handled beautifully, being perfectly appropriate for each moment, and moving ones' heart even more. the opening first struck me as rather odd (especially the title), it grew on me, becoming a natural part of the series. the music also clicks nicely with the rich, gothic (yet distinctly japanese) visuals, cementing this as a supernatural story. even the previews are handled with care, each card being done in a different style than the series and each other. the opening, ending, and show itself all feature fluid, stunning animation complete with CG effects and style shifts appropriate to the situation.

One of the many beautiful preview cards.

The pitfall with this series is likely the characters. while the female lead, Yuuko, is memorable and relatable, the rest of the cast seems to suffer a bit by comparison. the show typically only showcases the main 4 characters, consisting of Yuuko, Teiichi, the male lead, and the other members of the Paranormal Investigation Club, Okonogi and Kirie. Okonogi plays the clueless, bouncy, overeager girl to a t, and Kirie is well done as the brooding, mysterious girl, but overall they're rather pale in comparison to Yuuko. Okonogi never ceases to annoy me, and Kirie might be a big stronger in the series if she had a stronger presence. Even Teiichi doesn't fall on the same level as Yuuko, being one of the most forgettable protagonists i've ever seen. It is his forgettableness, however, that seems to be his defining trait, this being discussed once or twice throughout the series and even becoming the focus for a few episodes. he is somewhat relatable, being very sensitive and bashful in nature yet very strong-willed, but even his face isn't very noteworthy. despite this, he and Yuuko mesh rather nicely.

I'm glad i saw this series, really glad. it's been a while since i had seen a real ghost anime, and while the early episodes are more silly, the later ones really satiated my appetite for a good, rich story. i was moved by Yuuko's plight, her tragic memories and unnessecary death. i wish that the series had touched on certain characters more, such as the people from Yuuko's past, but otherwise everything was handled very well. the series ended nicely, with hints of a second season, but so far nothing has been said about one. overall, though, the series was a great watch, with a few ecchi moments, but mostly an interesting supernatural mystery.
The truely dramatic moments are handled very elegantly, resulting in highly emotional scenes.

Tasogare Otome x Amnesia is available from Commie Subs, Unlimited Translation Works (UTW), Hadena Subs, Deadfish Encodes, Final8 Subs, Tekeremata Subs (esp), and Aozora Team (ita). Tasogare Otome x Amnesia is also licensed in the US by Sentai Filmworks.
Another of the preview cards.


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